Thursday, December 29, 2005

Behold, New Things Springing Forth

Thus says God the LORD,
Who created the heavens and stretched them out,
  Who spread forth the earth and that which comes from it,
Who gives breath to the people on it,
  And spirit to those who walk on it:

“I, the LORD, have called You in righteousness,
  and will hold Your hand;
I will keep You and give You as a covenant to the people,
  As a light to the Gentiles,
To open blind eyes,
  To bring out prisoners from the prison,
  Those who sit in darkness from the prison house.
I am the LORD, that is My name;
  And My glory I will not give to another,
Nor My praise to carved images.
  Behold, the former things have come to pass,
And new things I declare;
  Before they spring forth I tell you of them.”
(Isaiah 42:5-9)

Behold, I will do a new thing,
  Now it shall spring forth;
  Shall you not know it?
I will even make a road in the wilderness
  And rivers in the desert.
(Isaiah 43:19)
Isaiah prophesied a new thing that would spring forth. It is a messianic declaration—Messiah called forth in righteousness and given as a covenant to Israel and as a light to the nations. It is a time for healing and for setting free, a time for the glory of the LORD to be uniquely manifested in the Anointed One. This is Jesus, and His blood shed for us is the cup of the New Covenant for all who receive Him.

The Hebrew word for “spring forth” literally means to sprout, as a plant. A seed is sown. It germinates. Soon a shoot pushes up through the soil. It grows and develops, rapidly multiplying in size. It prospers and flourishes.

Isn’t this what Jesus said the kingdom of God is like?
The kingdom of God is as if a man should scatter seed on the ground, and should sleep by night and rise by day, and the seed should sprout and grow, he himself does not know how. For the earth yields crops by itself; first the blade, then the head, after that the full grain in the head. But when the grain ripens, immediately he puts in the sickle, because the harvest has come. (Mark 4:26-29)

To what shall we liken the kingdom of God? Or with what parable shall we picture it? It is like a mustard seed which, when it is sown on the ground, is smaller than all the seeds on earth; but when it is sown, it grows up and becomes greater than all herbs, and shoots out large branches, so that the birds of the air may nest under its shade. (Mark 4:30-32)
When the seed is sown, we might not understand how it sprouts and grows — it is a God thing. But there is a steady progress from the first shoot to the ripened fruit, and then it is time for the harvest.

God has declared and is doing a new thing which is now springing forth. It is the kingdom of God. It started as a very small seed, but it is continually growing, shooting out large branches with shade for all.

In the Lord’s Prayer, Jesus taught us to pray, “Kingdom of God, come! Will of God, be done on earth as it is in heaven.” In the Greek, the tense is continuous: “Kingdom, keep coming! Will of God, keep being done on earth as in heaven.” For it has already broken into our world and is continually increasing at a greater and greater rate. We are now in the time prophesied so long ago in the book of Amos:
“Behold, the days are coming,” says the LORD,
  “When the plowman shall overtake the reaper,
  and the treader of grapes him who sows seed;
The mountains shall drip with sweet wine,
  And all the hills shall flow with it.”
(Amos 9:13)
Notice that God says “Behold.”
  • Behold, the former things have come to pass and new things I declare.
  • Behold, I will do a new thing, now it shall spring forth.
  • Behold, the days are coming …
To behold means to see, to appropriate or take hold of, as with the eyes. It is to gaze intently, to focus upon with great attention. When God says “behold,” it is a command to see in the spirit that which cannot yet be seen in the natural.

God is doing a new thing that is now springing forth. Our job is to behold, to look into the spirit realm and appropriate it. We may not understand how it shall all come about, but God will somehow bring it about. So we sleep by night and rise by day, all the while beholding the promise of God in the spirit, believing in our hearts, and calling it forth by our prayers. In this new year, therefore, watch and be ready to put in your sickle for the harvest.